16 August 2018

Kenya: 'Nonsense' - Taj Mall Owner Rubbishes Order to Demolish Building

Photo: Nairobi News
The Airgate Centre, formerly Taj Mall, situated along North Airport Road.

Taj Mall (now Airgate Mall) managing director Ramesh Gorasia has dismissed a notice of demolition of his premises as "nonsense" and called the multi-sectoral committee on unsafe buildings "stupid".

Mr Gorasia, in a no-holds barred address to the media, defended the legality of the mall, even daring President Uhuru Kenyatta, and Governor Mike Sonko to go to the mall for the demolition and not send their junior officials.

"We have been there arguing with KURA (Kenya Urban Roads Authority) all this time. KURA cannot demolish for the last five years. Now some stupid agency has been created to frustrate investors in the country, we will not accept that nonsense," said Mr Gorasia.

VACATE

His outburst came after the chairman of the committee Moses Nyakiongora asked the tenants to vacate the building before the August 30 to pave way for the demolition of the structure.

The committee, which has overseen the demolition of several buildings in the city, has told the owners of the mall to bring it down by August 30 failure to which it will be knocked down.

On Thursday, Mr Gorasia also refuted claims that Deputy President William Ruto has any shares on the mall.

"Hata Ruto hakuna kitu hapo, hata share moja hana, hiyo ni propaganda sijui nani ametowa, neither Uhuru nor Sonko own anything here. Mall tumetengeneza na jasho yangu na mimi sitaki sweat yangu iende waste," he said.

'SONKO AKUJE'

"That is what I am saying mzuri, Uhuru, Ruto, Sonko akuje. Hata Sonko amekuja juzi juzi hapo, si anaona vile hii jumba iko, anajua barabara haitakikani sahii. Kama ni fifty years baadaye tutaangalia vile itakuwa."

He maintained that at the time the mall was constructed, the National Construction Authority was not in place and all approvals were done by the county Gonernment and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema).

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